In today’s modern world information is found all around us and it is available at the simple push of a button; 24/7/365. Machine condition monitoring systems (online systems) have been around for quite a while, but they have typically been reserved for the most critical and most expensive machines at a facility. These critical assets typically comprise a small number of the total assets at most manufacturing plants. The majority of machines fall under the walk-around monitoring approach. If a condition monitoring program is being conducted at a world-class level then each machine is being tested monthly, however, at most manufacturing facilities manpower constraints restrict monitoring to quarterly or in some cases once or twice a year. Machines that have been historically confined to a walk-around type program can now be monitored successfully using an online system.

These systems can monitor and trend vibration levels as well as monitor and trend ultrasound and temperature.

The online systems can be configured to deliver a machine’s alarm status directly to the plant process control system. This allows the machine operator to take the necessary corrective actions. The alarm status can also be delivered to a maintenance supervisor via cell phone message or email. Using online systems to monitor the health status of your process equipment will allow the identification of problems early with minimal manpower so that catastrophic failures can be prevented which ultimately leads to less machine downtime for repairs and increased cost savings.

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, by Dave Leach CRL CMRT CMRP